HTU diesel

HydroThermalUpgrading (HTU) is a biofuel conversion technology that is especially suitable for wet biomass feedstocks, such as beet pulp, sludge or bagasse. At a temperature of 300 - 350° C and high pressure, the biomass is converted to a heavy organic liquid containing a mixture of hydrocarbons, which is called 'biocrude'. After processing, using a well-known refinery technology called catalytical hydro-de-oxygenation (HDO), a liquid biofuel can be produced that is similar to fossil diesel. It can be blended with fossil diesel in any proportion without the necessity of engine or infrastructure modifications.

Presently, HTU technology is only researched in the Netherlands, where the only HTU pilot plant is located as well. Research activities focus on the complex chemical properties of the reactions of the HTU process, the feeding pump to achieve the required pressure, and testing of several feedstock types. It will probably take a few more years before the process has been tested and developed sufficiently before a commercial diesel equivalent can be produced.